Holland 3, England 0: Mark Sampson accepts blame after Lionesses suffer European Championship heartache

Frank Dalleres
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England crashed out at the semi-final stage for a second tournament in a row (Source: Getty)

Holland 3, England 0

England manager Mark Sampson admitted to making mistakes in the lead-up to his team’s comprehensive semi-final defeat to European Championship hosts Holland in Enschede tonight.

Arsenal pair Vivianne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk and an own goal by Mille Bright ensured the Lionesses suffered defeat at the last-four stage for the second major tournament in succession.

Holland were deserved victors but their second and third efforts arose from English defensive errors, and Sampson conceded that he, as much as the players, needed to reappraise his performance.

“We’re devastated to be out of the event but incredibly proud of the team,” he said.

“They left everything on the pitch. The performance was there, the attitude was there and we’ve got a group of absolutely devastated women in this changing room now.

“They’ve worked so, so hard over the last year to get into a position to compete at these championships, and over the course of the tournament they’ve been one of the best teams here. But in tournament football small things make a big difference.

England manager Sampson said he could have prepared the team better (Source: Getty)

“We made some mistakes tonight. I made some mistakes in the build-up to the game that we’ll learn from. I’ll go away and reflect on my own preparation, how I’ve supported the team over the last year, and do a better job next time and help them get over the line.”

Holland, who will face Denmark in Sunday’s final, took the lead on 22 minutes when Miedema met a right-wing centre at the far post with a precise header planted back across Siobhan Chamberlain.

England rallied and threatened an equaliser but were undone on 62 minutes when defender Fara Williams’ misplaced header allowed Van de Donk to prod past Chamberlain.

The Dutch delighted a record domestic crowd for a women’s match with an injury-time third when a tired Bright diverted Lieke Martens’ shot across goal past her own goalkeeper at the near post.

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